CIRCULAR ECONOMY NOW00 : How can a tool stimulate Circular Economy whereby the product development stage will be guided towards less waste generation?

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för design (DE)

Abstract: The government has made a choice to call a halt to climate change and has defined concrete milestones that everyone can use in practical terms, but the practical and knowledge side is still lacking within society. There is still no unambiguous approach for circular economy. Unfortunately, no manual is ready yet to take the steps towards 2050. The best advice to give is to start with awareness: making known to the general public. This step is a first step towards 100% circular economy. The greatest effect of circularity of a product must be realized in the design phase. Aspects such as maintenance, flexibility in use and adaptability, disassembly possibilities and the usability at end of life is determined by the design. The choice of materials what a product consists of is also important here. For this, the researcher sought a solution that supports these two important pillars. Circularity is a complex subject and there is a need to convert this complex language whereby this language becomes more intelligible to the daily users, architects, designers and product developers. Making circularity measurable, on the basis of product information from the supplier, the tool calculates the degree of circularity. The focus of the tool lies in the calculation of the impact of its materials and the amount of waste generated during the entire journey of the product. The results of the tool is named PICI© and can be compared with the certification techniques of today, except this one is circular-proof, while almost all of the certifications has been developed within a linear economy. Today's certificates will have to make room for the circularity certificates of the future. In addition, this study will also provide a direction for a circular methodology that will fully support the transition towards a circular service or product development. This research has the aim to make manufacturers, designers, architects or product developers aware what the impact of their product is, whereby the material-decision-making process will be striving for a fully circular  products and the re-use of the those materials.  This tool can motivate and make this impact of waste more visible. On top of that, this tool has a special focus on urban and architectural lighting, due to the collaboration with Spectrum advice and Design, in the Netherlands. Therefore, a case study is included within this study from Hydro Aluminum who supported this research with real-end data. 

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